Hot Gimmicky Schemes: Calculators

Okay, who will seriously buy this and not be over the age of 30 and creepily single?

According to a release from Bandai and Sharp, a new calculator will be hitting Japan’s shelves in March. It won’t support trigonometric equations; it won’t computate cubic roots; but it does have President Shima Kosaku (and a cellphone strap).

Stop right there. Sharp is making a calculator, where the only saving grace is that it comes with a small cellphone strap? They’re expecting people to pay 3500 yen (about $42) for this?

All this just to cover declining calculator sales? Bravo. Whatever happened to building innovative products people want to buy for utility? All this is, is an EL-339HB with some gimmicky art work pasted on.

These calculators aren’t even all that good. You want to make a calculator that sells? Sharp needs to build something that rivals the Casio FX-260 Solar. Now that is what I call a calculator. It does fractions, all manner of exponential equations, complex mathematical equations, and it comes with a nice protective plate so the schoolyard bully can’t throw it and ruin the face. (He’ll still give you an Indian rope burn, though.) You know how much this costs? $10.

You want some anime on your calculator? Buy some stickers. Or, better yet, make one. The solid grey case makes for easy customization!

With a little customization on the case, my Fx-260 has become the symbol of cool that everyone at school wants (to beat me up for). Thanks Xzibit!

About Tomo Hirai

For more than half a decade, Tomo Hirai has whittled his time away playing video games and reading comics. He has been writing about Japanese pop-culture since his start at the Nichi Bei Times working on Anime/Manga special issues.


  1. Sooo…I take it news is slow right now?

  2. I kind of thought they were cute, but then I’m an old. 🙂 Funny post, Tomo.

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